Monday, December 21, 2009

Mark's Un-Herd Music Mix

Ladies and gentlemen, the Un-Herd Music is honored to present its first guest blogger: the esteemed Mark, well-known in certain circles as a multi-talented man of the arts, bass slinger in fave rock 'n' roll combo Sour Jazz, and all-around debauched libertine. He has concocted a mix for the ages, which is presented below in all its unfettered glory.

Mark's Un-Herd Music Mix

01 Dan Kelly & The Alpha Males - Checkout Cutie
02 Americo - Damedyo
03 The Rats - Turtle Dove
04 Barry Adamson - Spend a Little Time
05 Doctors of Madness - Waiting
06 The Yellow Monkey - マリーに口づけ
07 Lieutenant Pigeon - Mouldy Old Dough
08 Tex Perkins - Darkside
09 Spencer P Jones - Terrorise Your Friends
10 Iggy Pop - Ready To Run
11 Silver Ginger 5 - Girls Are Better Than Boys
12 Rosso - 1000 のタンバリン
13 Rowland S Howard - [I Know] A Girl Called Jonny
14 Julian Cope - Dying to Meet You
15 The Butcher Shop - No Fear
16 Mo'some Tonebender - You Are Rock & Roll
17 Anita Lane - Jesus Almost Got Me
18 Hugo Race - Spirit World Rising
19 Louis Tillett - Liferaft [live version]
20 Thee Hypnotics - Kissed By the Flames
21 Mink DeVille - Heaven Stood Still

Mark sez:

I'm not really sure what -- if anything -- ties all these songs together, apart from the fact that I love these songs, and that I hope they'll be new and agreeable to anyone who bothers to download and knock an ear to them. I know that I truly love a song when hearing it makes me wish that I'd either written it or played on the session... and all twenty one of these do that to me.

'Checkout Cutie' by Dan Kelly & The Alpha Males definitely scoops up the prize for Single Of The Decade in my book, with the proper balance of raunch and catchiness. This is Australian, as are the tracks by Tex Perkins, The Butcher Shop, Spencer P Jones, Louis Tillett, Hugo Race and Anita Lane. 'Darkside' is Tex Perkins' contribution to a tribute album to Aboriginal legend Kev Carmody, and Tex also handles lead vocals on 'No Fear' by The Butcher Shop, which boasts a simple but soaring guitar solo. Spencer P. Jones is Tex's bandmate in the mighty Beasts of Bourbon, and this particular track, 'Terrorise Your Friends,' is just one of many highlights from his vast heap of solo albums. The Louis Tillett track, 'Liferaft,' is a cracking live recording, which builds very nicely into a storming horn section. Louis Tillett, like so many others, is a criminally under-rated artist deserving of much more recognition. Hugo Race, Anita Lane and Rowland S. Howard are all former bandmates of Nick Cave's, with Rowland's track, '[I Know] A Girl Called Jonny' being my pick for best track of 2009. Barry Adamson is another former bandmate of Cave's, and his recent 'Spend A Little Time' is one of this decade's finest.

Americo, The Yellow Monkey, Rosso and Mo'some Tonebender are all Japanese bands that manage to deliver, despite the language barrier. I stumbled upon Americo when they supported us in Tokyo, and they knocked me sideways before they even finished their soundcheck. There's very little that I'm able to say about Rosso, Mo'some Tonebender or The Yellow Monkey aside from the fact that Rosso features Yusuke Chiba on vocals and guitar... formerly of Thee Michelle Gun Elephant. The Yellow Monkey, now defunct, were absolutely huge in Japan, and wear their love for Mott The Hoople on their sleeves. That ain't a bad thing at all, in my book.

'Dying To Meet You' by Julian Cope is the best non-Iggy Iggy record ever... a remarkably riff-worthy accomplishment. 'Ready To Run' is proof positive that Iggy himself is still able to achieve greatness... although it remains a complete mystery as to why this track from the 'Skull Ring' sessions was left off the album and relegated to Japanese b-side status.

The Rats' 'Turtle Dove' and Lieutenant Pigeon's 'Mouldy Old Dough' are masterpieces of early 70s UK glam, while 'Girls Are Better Than Boys' gives a nod in similar direction. Modern man would be wise to search out Silver Ginger 5's lone album, 'Black Leather Mojo'... Silver Ginger 5 being a one-off side project from Ginger out of The Wildhearts. 'Waiting,' by Doctors of Madness, is another 70s UK track that makes me wonder what the hell the British Class of 76 was rebelling against. Seldom has the violin rocked so mightily. And as for 'Mouldy Old Dough,' this is the rare 1974 version of their 1972 smash hit, with some tasty guitar replacing the original version's plonking piano track, which was played by the drummer's elderly mother. That version can be dug here:

Thee Hypnotics were one of the very few great bands of the 90s, and 'Kissed By The Flames' is a track that I keep returning to all the time. Like 'Liferaft' by Louis Tillett, it builds and builds, sets itself alight, and really takes off in a way that not many songs do. Singer Jim Jones' latest band, the Jim Jones Revue, is well worth looking into, and can be found here:

And that leaves only 'Heaven Stood Still,' by Mink DeVille... my favourite track by one of my favourite artists. Willy DeVille sadly passed away in 2009 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, and will never be replaced.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Best of '09 (Vol. III)

A final volume in my on-going mixes of my fave songs of the year. This is all leading up to an eventual Un-Herd Music Top 20, which will arrive as soon as I can get off my ass and compile it.

So That's How It Is

1. Dan Mangan Tina's Glorious Comeback
2. Gin Wigmore Oh My
3. Sour Jazz Masquerader
4. Like A Martyr And By Coffee I Mean Drugs
5. Chuck Prophet American Man
6. This Modern Station Evangelina
7. Reno Bo You Don't Know
8. Cheap Star Willing Reason
9. The Raveonettes Bang!
10. Norfolk & Western So That's How It Is
11. Philadelphia Grand Jury Going To The Casino (Tomorrow Night)
12. The Sun Watch Out
13. Heavy Trash Good Man
14. Paul Westerberg Drop Them Gloves
15. The Dirty Strangers Don't Come Easy
16. Rat Silo Oh, Fuck Off Tony
17. Band of Skulls Fires
18. Ike Reilly The Reformed Church of the Assault Rifle Band
19. Gidgets Ga Ga Hit By A Train
20. The DomNicks Party's Over (pt. 2)
21. The Almighty Defenders Bow Down And Die
22. The Kill Devil Hills I Don't Think This Shit Can Last Much Longer

Friday, December 4, 2009

25 Songs of Christmess

Ah... Christmas. If the consumerist pressures aren't enough to break you, then surely the non-stop holiday music will. Admit it, if you have to listen to another round of those earnest, choral hymns and/or chirpy yule ditties you may have to eat your own head to make it stop.

And you can't fight it. Nope. It's Christmas, ferchrissakes. In order to fight you'd either have to declare war on friends, family, and immediate culture - maybe go live in a cave or forage in the snowy forests for seeds and berries - and that's not gonna happen if you're even halfway sane.

So instead of an outright fight, why not offer a compromise? And by compromise, I mean this mix. Slip it in the player at the next family Christmas event, settle back, and bliss out over the 80 minutes of actual decent music - and make sure to appreciate it, because once it's over you know you're doomed to return to Burl Ives bleating "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer". Or the Dogsbum Township Middle School Choir's version of "Silent Night". Or those barking dogs. Or even... (shudder)... the jingle cats. You know what I'm talking about. Yep. We're all in this together. Download now. Thank me later.

25 Songs Of Christmess

1. Pointed Sticks Power Pop Santa
2. Manic Street Preachers Ghost of Christmas
3. Joey Ramone Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
4. The Hives w/ Cyndi Lauper A Christmas Duel
5. Barely Pink Come On Christmas
6. Imperial Drag Please Leave Me Home For Christmas
7. The Holidays Sleighbell Bop
8. The Fleshtones I Still Believe In Christmas
9. The Yobs Another Christmas
10. Jeffrey Foskett Christmas Time Is Here
11. Slow Santa Claus Is Back In Town
12. The Del-Lords Merry Christmas Baby
13. The Media Whores All I Want For Christmas
14. Hello Saferide Ipod Xmas
15. Redd Kross Super Sunny Christmas
16. Carpet Frogs Christmas Would Not Be Christmas
17. Black Halos Homeless For Christmas
18. The Raveonettes Christmas Song
19. Aimee Mann & Michael Penn Christmastime
20. The Smithereens Merry Christmas Baby
21. Tom Petty Christmas All Over Again
22. Fountains of Wayne I Want An Alien For Christmas
23. Spooner The Saddest Time Of The Year
24. Dreams So Real Red Lights (Merry Christmas)
25. Wonderful World of Joey What Sweet Child O'Mine Is This?